Managing NFS and NIS

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Managing NFS and NIS

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  1. Table of Contents Preface .......................................................... 1 Who this book is for ................................................ 2 Versions ........................................................ 2 Organization ..................................................... 3 Conventions used in this book ......................................... 4 Differences between the first edition and second edition ...................... 5 Comments and questions ............................................ 5 Hal's acknowledgments from the first edition .............................. 6 Acknowledgments for the second edition ................................. 6 1. Networking Fundamentals ......................................... 9 1.1 Networking overview ............................................ 9 1.2 Physical and data link layers ...................................... 11 1.3 Network layer ................................................ 12 1.4 Transport layer ................................................ 18 1.5 The session and presentation layers ................................. 19 2. Introduction to Directory Services ................................... 24 2.1 Purpose of directory services ...................................... 24 2.2 Brief survey of common directory services ............................ 25 2.3 Name service switch ............................................ 29 2.4 Which directory service to use ..................................... 29 3. Network Information Service Operation .............................. 31 3.1 Masters, slaves, and clients ....................................... 31 3.2 Basics of NIS management ....................................... 34 3.3 Files managed under NIS ........................................ 41 3.4 Trace of a key match ............................................ 52 4. System Management Using NIS ..................................... 56 4.1 NIS network design ............................................ 56 4.2 Managing map files ............................................ 58 4.3 Advanced NIS server administration ................................ 65 4.4 Managing multiple domains ...................................... 67 5. Living with Multiple Directory Servers ............................... 70 5.1 Domain name servers ........................................... 70 5.2 Implementation ............................................... 72 5.3 Fully qualified and unqualified hostnames ............................ 74 5.4 Centralized versus distributed management ........................... 76 5.5 Migrating from NIS to DNS for host naming .......................... 77 5.6 What next? ................................................... 77 6. System Administration Using the Network File System ................... 78 6.1 Setting up NFS ................................................ 79 6.2 Exporting filesystems ........................................... 80 6.3 Mounting filesystems ........................................... 85 6.4 Symbolic links ................................................ 96 6.5 Replication .................................................. 99 6.6 Naming schemes ............................................. 103
  2. 7. Network File System Design and Operation .......................... 108 7.1 Virtual filesystems and virtual nodes ............................... 108 7.2 NFS protocol and implementation ................................. 109 7.3 NFS components ............................................. 117 7.4 Caching .................................................... 122 7.5 File locking ................................................. 127 7.6 NFS futures ................................................. 129 8. Diskless Clients ................................................ 132 8.1 NFS support for diskless clients ................................... 132 8.2 Setting up a diskless client ...................................... 133 8.3 Diskless client boot process ...................................... 136 8.4 Managing client swap space ..................................... 140 8.5 Changing a client's name ........................................ 142 8.6 Troubleshooting .............................................. 143 8.7 Configuration options .......................................... 147 8.8 Brief introduction to JumpStart administration ........................ 150 8.9 Client/server ratios ............................................ 151 9. The Automounter .............................................. 153 9.1 Automounter maps ............................................ 154 9.2 Invocation and the master map ................................... 162 9.3 Integration with NIS ........................................... 167 9.4 Key and variable substitutions .................................... 169 9.5 Advanced map tricks .......................................... 173 9.6 Side effects ................................................. 182 10. PC/NFS Clients ............................................... 184 10.1 PC/NFS today .............................................. 184 10.2 Limitations of PC/NFS ........................................ 185 10.3 Configuring PC/NFS .......................................... 188 10.4 Common PC/NFS usage issues .................................. 189 10.5 Printer services .............................................. 191 11. File Locking ................................................. 192 11.1 What is file locking? .......................................... 192 11.2 NFS and file locking .......................................... 194 11.3 Troubleshooting locking problems ................................ 196 12. Network Security .............................................. 200 12.1 User-oriented network security .................................. 200 12.2 How secure are NIS and NFS? ................................... 206 12.3 Password and NIS security ..................................... 207 12.4 NFS security ............................................... 210 12.5 Stronger security for NFS ...................................... 223 12.6 Viruses ................................................... 245 13. Network Diagnostic and Administrative Tools ........................ 247 13.1 Broadcast addresses .......................................... 248 13.2 MAC and IP layer tools ........................................ 250 13.3 Remote procedure call tools ..................................... 268 13.4 NIS tools .................................................. 276 13.5 Network analyzers ........................................... 283
  3. 14. NFS Diagnostic Tools .......................................... 295 14.1 NFS administration tools ....................................... 295 14.2 NFS statistics ............................................... 298 14.3 snoop ..................................................... 307 14.4 Publicly available diagnostics ................................... 311 14.5 Version 2 and Version 3 differences ............................... 317 14.6 NFS server logging ........................................... 318 14.7 Time synchronization ......................................... 331 15. Debugging Network Problems .................................... 335 15.1 Duplicate ARP replies ......................................... 335 15.2 Renegade NIS server ......................................... 337 15.3 Boot parameter confusion ...................................... 338 15.4 Incorrect directory content caching ............................... 339 15.5 Incorrect mount point permissions ................................ 343 15.6 Asynchronous NFS error messages ............................... 345 16. Server-Side Performance Tuning ................................. 349 16.1 Characterization of NFS behavior ................................ 349 16.2 Measuring performance ........................................ 351 16.3 Benchmarking .............................................. 352 16.4 Identifying NFS performance bottlenecks ........................... 353 16.5 Server tuning ............................................... 357 17. Network Performance Analysis ................................... 367 17.1 Network congestion and network interfaces ......................... 367 17.2 Network partitioning hardware .................................. 369 17.3 Network infrastructure ........................................ 371 17.4 Impact of partitioning ......................................... 372 17.5 Protocol filtering ............................................ 374 18. Client-Side Performance Tuning .................................. 376 18.1 Slow server compensation ...................................... 376 18.2 Soft mount issues ............................................ 381 18.3 Adjusting for network reliability problems .......................... 382 18.4 NFS over wide-area networks ................................... 384 18.5 NFS async thread tuning ....................................... 385 18.6 Attribute caching ............................................ 387 18.7 Mount point constructions ...................................... 388 18.8 Stale filehandles ............................................. 390 A. IP Packet Routing ............................................. 392 A.1 Routers and their routing tables ................................... 392 A.2 Static routing ................................................ 396 B. NFS Problem Diagnosis ......................................... 397 B.1 NFS server problems .......................................... 397 B.2 NFS client problems ........................................... 398 B.3 NFS errno values ............................................. 399 C. Tunable Parameters ............................................ 401 Colophon ...................................................... 405
  4. Managing NFS and NIS Preface Twenty years ago, most computer centers had a few large computers shared by several hundred users. The "computing environment" was usually a room containing dozens of terminals. All users worked in the same place, with one set of disks, one user account information file, and one view of all resources. Today, local area networks have made terminal rooms much less common. Now, a "computing environment" almost always refers to distributed computing, where users have personal desktop machines, and shared resources are provided by special-purpose systems such as file, computer, and print servers. Each desktop requires redundant configuration files, including user information, network host addresses, and local and shared remote filesystem information. A mechanism to provide consistent access to all files and configuration information ensures that all users have access to the "right" machines, and that once they have logged in they will see a set of files that is both familiar and complete. This consistency must be provided in a way that is transparent to the users; that is, a user should not know that a filesystem is located on a remote fileserver. The transparent view of resources must be consistent across all machines and also consistent with the way things work in a non-networked environment. In a networked computing environment, it's usually up to the system administrator to manage the machines on the network (including centralized servers) as well as the network itself. Managing the network means ensuring that the network is transparent to users rather than an impediment to their work. The Network File System (NFS) and the Network Information Service (NIS)[1] provide mechanisms for solving "consistent and transparent" access problems. The NFS and NIS protocols were developed by Sun Microsystems and are now licensed to hundreds of vendors and universities, not to mention dozens of implementations from the published NFS and NFS specifications. NIS centralizes commonly replicated configuration files, such as the password file, on a single host. It eliminates duplicate copies of user and system information and allows the system administrator to make changes from one place. NFS makes remote filesystems appear to be local, as if they were on disks attached to the local host. With NFS, all machines can share a single set of files, eliminating duplicate copies of files on different machines in the network. Using NFS and NIS together greatly simplifies the management of various combinations of machines, users, and filesystems. [1] NIS was formerly called the "Yellow Pages." While many commands and directory names retain the yp prefix, the formal name of the set of services has been changed to avoid conflicting with registered trademarks. NFS provides network and filesystem transparency because it hides the actual, physical location of the filesystem. A user's files could be on a local disk, on a shared disk on a fileserver, or even on a machine located across a wide-area network. As a user, you're most content when you see the same files on all machines. Just having the files available, though, doesn't mean that you can access them if your user information isn't correct. Missing or inconsistent user and group information will break Unix file permission checking. This is where NIS complements NFS, by adding consistency to the information used to build and describe the shared filesystems. A user can sit down in front of any workstation in his or her group that is running NIS and be reasonably assured that he or she can log in, find his or her home directory, and access tools such as compilers, window systems, and publishing packages. In addition to making life easier for the users, NFS and NIS simplify the tasks of 1
  5. Managing NFS and NIS system administrators, by centralizing the management of both configuration information and disk resources. NFS can be used to create very complex filesystems, taking components from many different servers on the network. It is possible to overwhelm users by providing "everything everywhere," so simplicity should rule network design. Just as a database programmer constructs views of a database to present only the relevant fields to an application, the user community should see a logical collection of files, user account information, and system services from each viewpoint in the computing environment. Simplicity often satisfies the largest number of users, and it makes the system administrator's job easier. Who this book is for This book is of interest to system administrators and network managers who are installing or planning new NFS and NIS networks, or debugging and tuning existing networks and servers. It is also aimed at the network user who is interested in the mechanics that hold the network together. We'll assume that you are familiar with the basics of Unix system administration and TCP/IP networking. Terms that are commonly misused or particular to a discussion will be defined as needed. Where appropriate, an explanation of a low-level phenomenon, such as Ethernet congestion will be provided if it is important to a more general discussion such as NFS performance on a congested network. Models for these phenomena will be drawn from everyday examples rather than their more rigorous mathematical and statistical roots. This book focuses on the way NFS and NIS work, and how to use them to solve common problems in a distributed computing environment. Because Sun Microsystems developed and continues to innovate NFS and NIS, this book uses Sun's Solaris operating system as the frame of reference. Thus if you are administering NFS on non-Solaris systems, you should use this book in conjunction with your vendor's documentation, since utilities and their options will vary by implementation and release. This book explains what the configuration files and utilities do, and how their options affect performance and system administration issues. By walking through the steps comprising a complex operation or by detailing each step in the debugging process, we hope to shed light on techniques for effective management of distributed computing environments. There are very few absolute constraints or thresholds that are universally applicable, so we refrain from stating them. This book should help you to determine the fair utilization and performance constraints for your network. Versions This book is based on the Solaris 8 implementations of NFS and NIS. When used without a version number, "Solaris" refers to the Solaris 2.x, Solaris 7, and Solaris 8 operating systems and their derivatives (note that the next version of Solaris after Solaris 2.6 was Solaris 7; in the middle of the development process, Sun renamed Solaris 2.7 to Solaris 7). NFS- and NIS- related tools have changed significantly between Solaris 2.0 and Solaris 8, so while it is usually the case that an earlier version of Solaris supports a function we discuss, it is not infrequent that it will not. For example, early releases of Solaris 2.x did not even have true NIS support. For another, Sun has made profound enhancements to NFS with nearly every release of Solaris. 2
  6. Managing NFS and NIS The Linux examples presented throughout the book were run on the Linux 2.2.14-5 kernel. Linux kernels currently implement NFS Version 2, although a patch is available that provides Version 3 support. Organization This book is divided into two sections. The first twelve chapters contain explanations of the implementation and operation of NFS and NIS. Chapter 13 through Chapter 18 cover advanced administrative and debugging techniques, performance analysis, and tuning. Building on the introductory material, the second section of the book delves into low-level details such as the effects of network partitioning hardware and the various steps in a remote procedure call. The material in this section is directly applicable to the ongoing maintenance and debugging of a network. Here's the chapter-by-chapter breakdown: • Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the underlying network protocols and services used by NFS and NIS. • Chapter 2 provides a survey of the popular directory services. • Chapter 3 discusses the architecture of NIS and its operation on both NIS servers and NIS clients. The focus is on how to set up NIS and its implementation features that affect network planning and initial configuration. • Chapter 4 discusses operational aspects of NIS that are important to network administrators. This chapter explores common NIS administration techniques, including map management, setting up multiple NIS domains, and using NIS with domain name services. • Chapter 5 explains the issues around using both NIS and the Directory Name Service (DNS) on the same network. • Chapter 6 covers basic NFS operations, such as mounting and exporting filesystems. • Chapter 7 explains the architecture of NFS and the underlying virtual filesystem. It also discusses the implementation details that affect performance, such as file attributes and data caching. • Chapter 8 is all about diskless clients. It also presents debugging techniques for clients that fail to boot successfully. • Chapter 9 discusses the automounter, a powerful but sometimes confusing tool that integrates NIS administrative techniques and NFS filesystem management. • Chapter 10 covers PC/NFS, a client-side implementation of NFS for Microsoft Windows machines. • Chapter 11 focuses on file locking and how it relates to NFS. • Chapter 12 explores network security. Issues such as restricting access to hosts and filesystems form the basis for this chapter. We'll also go into how to make NFS more secure, including a discussion of setting up NFS security that leverages encryption for stronger protection. • Chapter 13 describes the administrative and diagnostic tools that are applied to the network and its systems as a whole. This chapter concentrates on the network and on interactions between hosts on the network, instead of the per-machine issues presented in earlier chapters. Tools and techniques are described for analyzing each layer in the protocol stack, from the Ethernet to the NFS and NIS applications. • Chapter 14 focuses on tools used to diagnose NFS problems. • Chapter 15 describes how to debug common network problems. 3
  7. Managing NFS and NIS • Chapter 16 discusses how to tune your NFS and, to a lesser extent, NIS servers. • Chapter 17 covers performance tuning and analysis of machines and the network. • Chapter 18 explores NFS client tuning, including NFS mount parameter adjustments. • Appendix A explains how IP packets are forwarded to other networks. It is additional background information for discussions of performance and network configuration. • Appendix B summarizes NFS problem diagnosis using the NFS statistics utility and the error messages printed by clients experiencing NFS failures. • Appendix C summarizes parameters for tuning NFS performance and other attributes. Conventions used in this book Font and format conventions for Unix commands, utilities, and system calls are: • Excerpts from script or configuration files will be shown in a constant-width font: 192.9.200.1 bitatron • Sample interactive sessions, showing command-line input and corresponding output, will be shown in a constant-width font, with user-supplied input in bold: • % ls foobar • If the command can be typed by any user, the percent sign (%) will be shown as the prompt. If the command must be executed by the superuser, then the pound sign (#) will be shown as the prompt: # /usr/sbin/ypinint -m • If a particular command must be typed on a particular machine, the prompt will include a hostname: bitatron# mount wahoo:/export /mnt • Inside of an excerpt from a script, configuration file, or other ASCII file, the pound sign will be used to indicate the beginning of a comment (unless the configuration file requires a different comment character, such as an asterisk (*)): • # • #Hal's machine 192.9.200.1 bitatron • Unix commands and command lines are printed in italics when they appear in the body of a paragraph. For example, the ls command lists files in a directory. • Hostnames are printed in italics. For example, server wahoo contains home directories. • Filenames are printed in italics, for example, the /etc/passwd file. • NIS map names and mount options are printed in italics. The passwd map is used with the /etc/passwd file, and the timeo mount option changes NFS client behavior. • System and library calls are printed in italics, with parentheses to indicate that they are C routines. For example, the gethostent( ) library call locates a hostname in an NIS map. • Control characters will be shown with a CTRL prefix, for example, CTRL-Z. 4
  8. Managing NFS and NIS Differences between the first edition and second edition The first edition was based on SunOS 4.1, whereas this edition is based on Solaris 8. The second edition covers much more material, mostly due to the enhancements made to NFS, including a new version of NFS (Version 3), a new transport protocol for NFS (TCP/IP), new security options (IPsec and Kerberos V5), and also more tools to analyze your systems and network. The second edition also drops or sharply reduces the following material from the first edition (all chapter numbers and titles are from the first edition): • Chapter 4. Systems and networks are now bigger, faster, and more complicated. We believe the target reader will be more interested in administering NIS and NFS, rather than writing applications based on NIS. • Chapter 9. At the time the second edition was written, most people were accessing their electronic mail boxes using the POP or IMAP protocols. A chapter focused on using NFS to access mail would appeal but to a small minority. • Chapter 14. This chapter survives in the second edition, but it is much smaller. This is because there are more competing PC/NFS products available than before, and also because many people who want to share files between PCs and Unix servers run the open source Samba package on their Unix servers. Still, there are some edge conditions that justify PC/NFS, so we discuss those, as well as general PC/NFS issues. • Appendix A. When this appendix was written, local area networks were much less reliable than they are today. The shift to better and standard technology, even low technology like Category 5 connector cables, has made a big difference. Thus, given the focus on software administration, there's not much practical use for presenting such material in this edition. • Appendix D. The NFS Benchmark appendix in the first edition explained how to use the nhfsstone benchmark, and was relevant in the period of NFS history when there was no standard, industry-recognized benchmark. Since the first edition, the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) has addressed the void with its SFS benchmark (sometimes referred to as LADDIS). The SFS benchmark provides a way for prospective buyers of an NFS server to compare it to others. Unfortunately, it's not practical for the target reader to build the complex test beds necessary to get good SFS benchmark numbers. A better alternative is to take advantage of the fact that SPEC lets anyone browse reported SFS results from its web site (http://www.spec.org/). Comments and questions We have tested and verified all the information in this book to the best of our abilities, but you may find that features have changed or that we have let errors slip through the production of the book. Please let us know of any errors that you find, as well as suggestions for future editions, by writing to: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. 101 Morris St. Sebastopol, CA 95472 (800) 998-9938 (in the U.S. or Canada) (707) 829-0515 (international/local) (707) 829-0104 (fax) 5
  9. Managing NFS and NIS You can also send messages electronically. To be put on our mailing list or to request a catalog, send email to: info@oreilly.com To ask technical questions or to comment on the book, send email to: bookquestions@oreilly.com We have a web site for the book, where we'll list examples, errata, and any plans for future editions. You can access this page at: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/nfs2/ For more information about this book and others, see the O'Reilly web site: http://www.oreilly.com/ Hal's acknowledgments from the first edition This book would not have been completed without the help of many people. I'd like to thank Brent Callaghan, Chuck Kollars, Neal Nuckolls, and Janice McLaughlin (all of Sun Microsystems); Kevin Sheehan (Kalli Consulting); Vicki Lewolt Schulman (Auspex Systems); and Dave Hitz (H&L Software) for their neverending stream of answers to questions about issues large and small. Bill Melohn (Sun) provided the foundation for the discussion of computer viruses. The discussion of NFS performance tuning and network configuration is based on work done with Peter Galvin and Rick Sabourin at Brown University. Several of the examples of NIS and NFS configuration were taken from a system administrator's guide to NFS and NIS written by Mike Loukides for Multiflow Computer Company. The finished manuscript was reviewed by: Chuck Kollars, Mike Marotta, Ed Milstein, and Brent Callaghan (Sun); Dave Hitz (H&L Software); Larry Rogers (Princeton University); Vicky Lewold Schulman (Auspex); Simson Garfinkel (NeXTWorld); and Mike Loukides and Tim O'Reilly (O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.). This book has benefited in many ways from their insights, comments, and corrections. The production group of O'Reilly & Associates also deserves my gratitude for applying the finishing touches to this book. I owe a tremendous thanks to Mike Loukides of O'Reilly & Associates who helped undo four years of liberal arts education and associated writing habits. It is much to Mike's credit that this book does not read like a treatise on Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.[2] [2] I think I will cause my freshman composition lecturer pain equal to the credit given to Mike, since she assured me that reading and writing about Crime and Punishment would prepare me for writing assignments the rest of my life. I have yet to see how, except possibly when I was exploring performance issues. Acknowledgments for the second edition Thanks to Pat Parseghian (Transmeta), Marc Staveley (Sun), and Mike Loukides (O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.) for their input to the outline of the second edition. 6
  10. Managing NFS and NIS All the authors thank John Corbin, Evan Layton, Lin Ling, Dan McDonald, Shantanu Mehendale, Anay S. Panvalkar, Mohan Parthasarathy, Peter Staubach, and Marc Staveley (all of Sun); Carl Beame and Fred Whiteside (both of Hummingbird); Jeanette Arnhart; and Katherine A. Olsen, all for reviewing specific chapters and correcting many of our mistakes. After we thought we were done writing, it fell to Brent Callaghan, David Robinson, and Spencer Shepler of Sun to apply their formidable expertise in NFS and NIS to make numerous corrections to the manuscript and many valuable suggestions on organization and content. Thank you gentlemen, and we hope you recognize that we have taken your input to heart. Thanks to our editor, Mike Loukides, for giving us quick feedback on our chapters, as well as riding herd when we weren't on schedule. Hal Stern's acknowledgments More than a decade has gone by since the first edition of this book, during which I've moved three times and started a family. It was pretty clear to me that the state of networking in general, and NFS and NIS in particular, was moving much faster than I was, and the only way this second edition became possible was to hand over the reins. Mike Eisler and Ricardo Labiaga have done a superb job of bridging the technical eon since the first edition, and I thank them deeply for their patience and volumes of high-quality work. I also owe Mike Loukides the same kudos for his ability to guide this book into its current form. Finally, a huge hug, with ten years of interest, to my wife, Toby, who has been reminding me (at least weekly) that I left all mention of her out of the first edition. None of this would have been possible without her encouragement and support. Mike Eisler's acknowledgments First and foremost, I'm grateful for the opportunity Hal and Mike L. gave me to contribute to this edition. I give thanks to my wife, Ruth, daughter, Kristin, and son, Kevin, for giving their husband and father the encouragement and space needed to complete this book. I started on the second edition while working for Sun. Special thanks to my manager at the time, Cindy Vinores, for encouraging me to take on the responsibility for co-authoring this book. Thanks also to my successive managers at Sun, Karen Spackman, David Brittle, and Cindy again, and to Emily Watts, my manager at Zambeel, Inc., for giving me the equipment, software, and most of all, time to write. Ricardo Labiaga readily agreed to sign on to help write this book when several members of the second edition writing team had to back out, and thus took a big load off my shoulders. This book was written using Adobe's Framemaker document editor. During the year 2000, Adobe made available to the world a free beta that ran on Linux. I thank Adobe for doing so, as it allowed me to make lots of progress while traveling on airliners. 7
  11. Managing NFS and NIS Ricardo Labiaga's acknowledgments Hal, Mike E., and Mike L., I have truly enjoyed working with you on this edition. Thank you; it's been an honor and a great experience. I did most of the work on the second edition while working for the Solaris File Sharing Group at Sun Microsystems, Inc. I thank my manager at the time, Bev Crair, who enthusiastically encouraged me to sign up for the project and provided the resources to coauthor this edition. I also thank my successive managers at Sun, David Brittle and Penny Solin, for providing the necessary resources to complete the endeavor. Words are not enough to thank my friends and colleagues at Sun and elsewhere, who answered many questions and provided much insight into the technologies. Special thanks to David Robinson for his technical and professional guidance throughout the years, as well as his invaluable feedback on the material presented in this book. Many thanks to Peter Staubach and Brent Callaghan for the time spent discussing what NFS should and should not do. Thanks to Mohan Parthasarathy and David Comay of Solaris Internet Engineering for answering my many questions about routing concepts. Thanks to Carl Williams and Sebastien Roy for their explanations of the IPv6 protocol. Thanks to Jim Mauro and Richard McDougall for providing the original Solaris priority paging information presented in Chapter 17. Thanks to Jeff Mogul of Compaq for his review of the NFSWATCH material, and Narendra Chaparala for introducing me to ethereal. I wish to thank Dr. David H. Williams of The University of Texas at El Paso, for providing me the opportunity to work as a system administrator in the Unix lab, where I had my first encounter with Unix and networking twelve years ago. I thank my parents from the bottom of my heart, for their encouragement throughout the years, and for their many sacrifices that made my education possible. My deepest gratitude goes to my wife, Kara, for her encouragement, understanding, and awesome support throughout the writing of this book. Thank you for putting up with my late hours, work weekends, and late dinner dates. 8
  12. Managing NFS and NIS Chapter 1. Networking Fundamentals The Network Information Service (NIS) and Network File System (NFS) are services that allow you to build distributed computing systems that are both consistent in their appearance and transparent in the way files and data are shared. NIS provides a distributed database system for common configuration files. NIS servers manage copies of the database files, and NIS clients request information from the servers instead of using their own, local copies of these files. For example, the /etc/hosts file is managed by NIS. A few NIS servers manage copies of the information in the hosts file, and all NIS clients ask these servers for host address information instead of looking in their own /etc/hosts file. Once NIS is running, it is no longer necessary to manage every /etc/hosts file on every machine in the network — simply updating the NIS servers ensures that all machines will be able to retrieve the new configuraton file information. NFS is a distributed filesystem. An NFS server has one or more filesystems that are mounted by NFS clients; to the NFS clients, the remote disks look like local disks. NFS filesystems are mounted using the standard Unix mount command, and all Unix utilities work just as well with NFS-mounted files as they do with files on local disks. NFS makes system administration easier because it eliminates the need to maintain multiple copies of files on several machines: all NFS clients share a single copy of the file on the NFS server. NFS also makes life easier for users: instead of logging on to many different systems and moving files from one system to another, a user can stay on one system and access all the files that he or she needs within one consistent file tree. This book contains detailed descriptions of these services, including configuration information, network design and planning considerations, and debugging, tuning, and analysis tips. If you are going to be installing a new network, expanding or fixing an existing network, or looking for mechanisms to manage data in a distributed environment, you should find this book helpful. Many people consider NFS to be the heart of a distributed computing environment, because it manages the resource users are most concerned about: their files. However, a distributed filesystem such as NFS will not function properly if hosts cannot agree on configuration information such as usernames and host addresses. The primary function of NIS is managing configuration information and making it consistent on all machines in the network. NIS provides the framework in which to use NFS. Once the framework is in place, you add users and their files into it, knowing that essential configuration information is available to every host. Therefore, we will look at directory services and NIS first (in Chapter 2 through Chapter 4); we'll follow that with a discussion of NFS in Chapter 5 through Chapter 13. 1.1 Networking overview Before discussing either NFS, or NIS, we'll provide a brief overview of network services. NFS and NIS are high-level networking protocols, built on several lower-level protocols. In order to understand the way the high-level protocols function, you need to know how the underlying services work. The lower-level network protocols are quite complex, and several books have been written about them without even touching on NFS and NIS services. 9
  13. Managing NFS and NIS Therefore, this chapter contains only a brief outline of the network services used by NFS and NIS. Network protocols are typically described in terms of a layered model, in which the protocols are "stacked" on top of each other. Data coming into a machine is passed from the lowest- level protocol up to the highest, and data sent to other hosts moves down the protocol stack. The layered model is a useful description because it allows network services to be defined in terms of their functions, rather than their specific implementations. New protocols can be substituted at lower levels without affecting the higher-level protocols, as long as these new protocols behave in the same manner as those that were replaced. The standard model for networking protocols and distributed applications is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) seven-layer model shown in Table 1-1. Table 1-1. The ISO seven-layer model Layer Name Physical Layer 7 Application NFS and NIS 6 Presentation XDR 5 Session RPC 4 Transport TCP or UDP 3 Network IP 2 Data Link Ethernet 1 Physical CAT-5 Purists will note that the TCP/IP protocols do not precisely fit the specifications for the services in the ISO model. The functions performed by each layer, however, correspond very closely to the functions of each part of the TCP/IP protocol suite, and provide a good framework for visualizing how the various protocols fit together. The lower levels have a well-defined job to do, and the higher levels rely on them to perform it independently of the particular medium or implementation. While TCP/IP most frequently is run over Ethernet, it can also be used with a synchronous serial line or fiber optic network. Different implementations of the first two network layers are used, but the higher-level protocols are unchanged. Consider an NFS server that uses all six lower protocol layers: it has no knowledge of the physical cabling connecting it to its clients. The server just worries about its NFS protocols and counts on the lower layers to do their job as well. Throughout this book, the network stack or protocol stack refers to this layering of services. Layer or level will refer to one specific part of the stack and its relationship to its upper and lower neighbors. Understanding the basic structure of the network services on which NFS and NIS are built is essential for designing and configuring large networks, as well as debugging problems. A failure or overly tight constraint in a lower-level protocol affects the operation of all protocols above it. If the physical network cannot handle the load placed on it by all of the desktop workstations and servers, then NFS and NIS will not function properly. Even though NFS or NIS will appear "broken," the real issue is with a lower level in the network stack. The following sections briefly describe the function of each layer and the mapping of NFS and NIS into them. Many books have been written about the ISO seven-layer model, TCP/IP, and Ethernet, so their treatment here is intentionally light. If you find this discussion of networking fundamentals too basic, feel free to skip over this chapter. 10
  14. Managing NFS and NIS 1.2 Physical and data link layers The physical and data link layers of the network protocol stack together define a machine's network interface. From a software perspective, the network interface defines how the Ethernet device driver gets packets from or to the network. The physical layer describes the way data is actually transmitted on the network medium. The data link layer defines how these streams of bits are put together into manageable chunks of data. Ethernet is the best known implementation of the physical and data link layers. The Ethernet specification describes how bits are encoded on the cable and also how stations on the network detect the beginning and end of a transmission. We'll stick to Ethernet topics throughout this discussion, since it is the most popular network medium in networks using NFS and NIS. Ethernet can be run over a variety of media, including thinnet, thicknet, unshielded twisted- pair (UTP) cables, and fiber optics. All Ethernet media are functionally equivalent — they differ only in terms of their convenience, cost of installation, and maintenance. Converters from one media to another operate at the physical layer, making a clean electrical connection between two different kinds of cable. Unless you have access to high-speed test equipment, the physical and data link layers are not that interesting when they are functioning normally. However, failures in them can have strange, intermittent effects on NFS and NIS operation. Some examples of these spectacular failures are given in Chapter 15. 1.2.1 Frames and network interfaces The data link layer defines the format of data on the network. A series of bits, with a definite beginning and end, constitutes a network frame, commonly called a packet. A proper data link layer packet has checksum and network-specific addressing information in it so that each host on the network can recognize it as a valid (or invalid) frame and determine if the packet is addressed to it. The largest packet that can be sent through the data link layer defines the Maximum Transmission Unit, or MTU, of the network. All hosts have at least one network interface, although any host connected to an Ethernet has at least two: the Ethernet interface and the loopback interface. The Ethernet interface handles the physical and logical connection to the outside world, while the loopback interface allows a host to send packets to itself. If a packet's destination is the local host, the data link layer chooses to "send" it via the loopback, rather than Ethernet, interface. The loopback device simply turns the packet around and queues it at the bottom of the protocol stack as if it were just received from the Ethernet. You may find it helpful to think of the protocol layers as passing packets upstream and downstream in envelopes, where the packet envelope contains some protocol-specific header information but hides the remainder of the packet contents. As data messages are passed from the top most protocol layer down to the physical layer, the messages are put into envelopes of increasing size. Each layer takes the entire message and envelope from the layer above and adds its own information, creating a new message that is slightly larger than the original. When a packet is received, the data link layer strips off its envelope and passes the result up to the network layer, which similarly removes its header information from the packet and passes it up the stack again. 11
  15. Managing NFS and NIS 1.2.2 Ethernet addresses Associated with the data link layer is a method for addressing hosts on the network. Every machine on an Ethernet has a unique, 48-bit address called its Ethernet or Media Access Control (MAC) address. Vendors making network-ready equipment ensure that every machine in the world has a unique MAC address. 24-bit prefixes for MAC addresses are assigned to hardware vendors, and each vendor is responsible for the uniqueness of the lower 24 bits. MAC addresses are usually represented as colon-separated pairs of hex digits: 8:0:20:ae:6:1f Note that MAC addresses identify a host, and a host with multiple network interfaces may use the same MAC address on each. Part of the data link layer's protocol-specific header are the packet's source and destination MAC addresses. Each protocol layer supports the notion of a broadcast, which is a packet or set of packets that must be sent to all hosts on the network. The broadcast MAC address is: ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff All network interfaces recognize this wildcard MAC address as a broadcast address, and pass the packet up to a higher-level protocol handler. 1.3 Network layer At the data link layer, things are fairly simple. Machines agree on the format of packets and a standard 48-bit host addressing scheme. However, the packet format and encoding vary with different physical layers: Ethernet has one set of characteristics, while an X.25-based satellite network has another. Because there are many physical networks, there should ideally be a standard interface scheme so that it isn't necessary to re-implement protocols on top of each physical network and its peculiar interfaces. This is where the network layer fits in. The higher-level protocols, such as TCP (at the transport layer), don't need to know any details about the physical network that is in use. As mentioned before, TCP runs over Ethernet, fiber optic network, or other media; the TCP protocols don't care about the physical connection because it is represented by a well-defined network layer interface. The network layer protocol of primary interest to NFS and NIS is the Internet Protocol, or IP. As its name implies, IP is responsible for getting packets between hosts on one or more networks. Its job is to make a best effort to get the data from point A to point B. IP makes no guarantees about getting all of the data to the destination, or the order in which the data arrives — these details are left for higher-level protocols to worry about. On a local area network, IP has a fairly simple job, since it just moves packets from a higher- level protocol down to the data link layer. In a set of connected networks, however, IP is responsible for determining how to get data from its source to the correct destination network. The process of directing datagrams to another network is called routing; it is one of the primary functions of the IP protocol. Appendix A contains a detailed description of how IP performs routing. 12
  16. Managing NFS and NIS 1.3.1 Datagrams and packets IP deals with data in chunks called datagrams. The terms packet and datagram are often used interchangeably, although a packet is a data link-layer object and a datagram is network layer object. In many cases, particularly when using IP on Ethernet, a datagram and packet refer to the same chunk of data. There's no guarantee that the physical link layer can handle a packet of the network layer's size. As previously mentioned, the largest packet that can be handled by the physical link layer is called the Maximum Transmission Unit, or MTU, of the network media. If the medium's MTU is smaller than the network's packet size, then the network layer has to break large datagrams down into packet-sized chunks that the data link and physical layers can digest. This process is called fragmentation. The host receiving a fragmented datagram reassembles the pieces in the correct order. For example, an X.25 network may have an MTU as small as 128 bytes, so a 1518-byte IP datagram would have to be fragmented into many smaller network packets to be sent over the X.25 link. For the scope of this book, we'll use packet to describe both the IP and the data link-layer objects, since NFS is most commonly run on Ethernet rather than over wide-area networks with smaller MTUs. However, the distinction will be made when necessary, such as when discussing NFS traffic over a wide area point-to-point link. 1.3.2 IP host addresses The internet protocol identifies hosts with a number called an IP address or a host address. To avoid confusion with MAC addresses (which are machine or station addresses), the term IP address will be used to designate this kind of address. IP addresses come in two flavors: 32-bit IP Version 4 (IPv4) or 128 bit IPv6 address. We will talk about IPv6 addresses later in this chapter. For now, we will focus on IPv4 addresses. IPv4 addresses are written as four dot- separated decimal numbers between 0-255 (a dotted quad): 192.9.200.1 IP addresses must be unique among all connected machines. Connected machines in this case are any hosts that you can get to over a network or connected set of networks, including your local area network, remote offices joined by the company's wide-area network, or even the entire Internet community. For a standalone system or a small office that is not connected (via an IP network) to the outside world, you can use the standard, private network addresses assigned such purposes. See Section 1.3.3 later in this chapter. If your network is connected to the Internet, you have to get a range of IP addresses assigned to your machines through a central network administration authority, via your Internet Service Provider. If you are planning on joining the Internet in the future, you will need to obtain an address from your network service provider. This may be either an actual provider of Internet service, or your own organization, if it has addresses to hand out. We won't go into this further in this book. The IP address uniqueness requirement differs from that for MAC addresses. IP addresses are unique only on connected networks, but machine MAC addresses are unique in the world, independent of any connectivity. Part of the reason for the difference in the uniqueness requirement is that IPv4 addresses are 32 bits, while MAC addresses are 48 bits, so mapping every possible MAC address into an IPv4 address requires some overlap. There are a variety of reasons why the IPv4 address is only 32 bits, while the MAC address is 48 bits, most of which are historical. 13
  17. Managing NFS and NIS Since the network and data link layers use different addressing schemes, some system is needed to convert or map the IP addresses to MAC addresses. Transport-layer services and user processes use IP addresses to identify hosts, but packets that go out on the network need MAC addresses. The Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) is used to convert the 32-bit IPv4 address of a host into its 48-bit MAC address. When a host wants to map an IP address to a MAC address, it broadcasts an ARP request on the network, asking for the host using the IP address to respond. The host that sees its own IP address in the request returns its MAC address to the sender. With a MAC address, the sending host can transmit a packet on the Ethernet and know that the receiving host will recognize it. A host can have more than one IP address. Usually this is because the host is connected to multiple physical network segments (requiring one network interface, such as an Ethernet controller, per segment), or because the host has multiple interfaces to the same physical network segment. 1.3.3 IPv4 address classes Each IPv4 address has a network number and a host number. The host number identifies a particular machine on an organization's network. IP addresses are divided into classes that determine which parts of the address make up the network and host numbers, as demonstrated in Table 1-2. Table 1-2. IPv4 address classes Address Class Network Host Number of Address Number of Maximum Number and First Octet Number Number Hosts per Form Networks of Hosts per Class Value Octets Octets Network Class A: 1-126 1 3 N.H.H.H 126 2563 - 2 2,113,928,964 Class B: 128-191 2 2 N.N.H.H 16,384 2562 - 2 1,073,709,056 Class C: 192-223 3 1 N.N.N.H 2,097,152 254 532,676,608 Class D: 224-239 N/A N/A M.M.M.M N/A N/A N/A Class E: 240-255 N/A N/A R.R.R.R N/A N/A N/A Each N represents part of the network number and each H is part of the address's host number. The 8-bit octet has 256 possible values, but 0 and 255 in the last host octet are reserved for forming broadcast addresses. Network numbers with first octet values of 240-254 are reserved for future use. The network numbers 0, 127, 255, 10, 172.16-172.31, and 192.168.0-192.168.255 are also reserved: • 0 is used as a place holder in forming a network number, and in some cases, for IP broadcast addresses. • 127 is for a host's loopback interface. • 255 is used for IPv4 broadcast addresses. • 10, 172.16-172.31, and 192.168.0-192.168.255 are used for private networks that will never be connected to the global Internet. Note that there are only 126 class A network numbers, but well over two million class C network numbers. When the Internet was founded, it was almost impossible to get a class A network number, and few organizations (aside from entire networks or countries) had enough hosts to justify a class A address. Most companies and universities requested class B or class 14
  18. Managing NFS and NIS C addresses. A medium-sized company, with several hundred machines, could request several class C network numbers, putting up to 254 hosts on each network. Now that the Internet is much bigger, the rules for class A, B, and C network number assignment have changed, as explained in Section 1.3.4. Class D addresses look similar to the other classes in that each address consists of 4 octets with a value no higher than 255 per octet. Unlike classes A, B, and C, a class D address does not have a network number and host number. Class D addresses are multicast addresses, which are used to send messages to more than one recipient host, whereas IP addresses in classes A, B, and C are unicast addresses destined for one recipient. Multicast on the Internet offers plenty of potential for efficient broadcast of information, such as bulk file transfers, audio and video, and stock pricing information, but has achieved limited deployment. There is an ongoing experiment known as the "MBONE" (Multicast backBONE) on the Internet to exploit this technology. Class E addresses are reserved for future assignment. 1.3.4 Classless IP addressing In the early 1990s, due to the advent of the World Wide Web, the Internet's growth exploded. In theory, if you sum the maximum number of hosts per classes A, B, and C (refer back to Table 1-2), the Internet can have a potential for over 3.7 billion hosts. In reality, the Internet was running out of address capacity for two reasons. The first had to do with the inefficiencies built into the class partitioning. About 3.2 billion of the theoretical number of hosts were class A and class B, leaving about 500 million class C addresses. Most organizations did not need class A or class B addresses, and of those that did, a significant fraction of their assigned address space was not needed. Most users could get by with a class C network number, but the typical small business or home user did not need 254 hosts. Thus, the number of class C addresses was bounded by the maximum number of class C networks, about two million, which is far less than the number of users on the Internet. The problem of only two million class C networks was mitigated by the introduction of dynamically assigned IP addresses, and by the introduction of policies that tended to assign IP network numbers only to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), or to organizations that effectively acted as their own ISP, which would then use the free market to efficiently reallocate the IP addresses dynamically or statically to their customers. Thus most Intenet users get assigned a single IP address, and the ISP is assigned the corresponding network number. The second reason was routing scalability. When the Internet was orders of magnitude smaller then it is today, most address assignments were for class A or B and so routing between networks was straightforward. The routers simply looked at the network number, and sent it to a router responsible for that route. With the explosion of the Internet, and with most of that growth in class C network numbers, each network's router might have to maintain tables of hundreds of thousands of routes. As the Internet grew rapidly, keeping these tables up to date was difficult. This situation was not sustainable, and so the concept of "classless addressing" was introduced. With the exception of grandfathered address assignments, each IP address, regardless of whether it's class A, B, or C, would not have an implicit network number part 15
  19. Managing NFS and NIS and host number part. Instead the network part would be designated explicitly via a suffix of the form: "/XX", where XX is the number of bits of the IP address that refer to the network. Those organizations that needed more than the 254 hosts that a class C address would provide, would instead be assigned consecutive class C addresses. For example, an ISP that was assigned 192.1.2 and 192.1.3 could have a classless network number of 192.1.3.0/23. Any router on a network other than 192.1.2 or 192.1.3 that wanted to send to either network number would instead route to a single router associated with the classless network number 192.1.3.0/23 (i.e., any IP address that had its first 23 bits equal to 1100 0000 0000 0001 0000 001). With this new scheme, larger organizations get more consecutive class C network numbers. Within their local networks ("Intranets"), they can either use traditional class-based routing or classless routing that further subdivides the local network address space that can be used. The largest organizations may find that class-based routing doesn't scale, and so classless routing is the best approach. 1.3.5 Virtual interfaces In Section 1.3.2, we noted that a host could have multiple IP addresses assigned to it if it had multiple physical network interfaces. It is possible for a physical network segment to support more than one IP network number. For example, a segment might have 128.0.0.0/16 and 192.4.5.6/24. Some hosts on that segment might want to directly address hosts with either network number. Some operating systems, such as Solaris, will let you define multiple virtual or logical interfaces for a physical network interface. On most Unix systems, the ifconfig command is used to set up interfaces. See your vendor's ifconfig manual page for more details. 1.3.6 IP Version 6 Until now we have been discussing IPv4 addresses that are four octets long. The discussion in Section 1.3.4 showed a clever way to extend the life of the 32 bit IPv4 address space. However, it was recognized long ago, even before the introduction of the World Wide Web, that the IPv4 address space was under pressure. IP Version 6 (IPv6) has been defined to solve the address space limitations by increasing the address length to 128 bit addresses. At the time of this writing, while most installed systems either do not support it or do not use it, most marketed systems support IPv6. Since it seems inevitable that you'll encounter some IPv6 networks in the next few years, we will explain some of the basics of IPv6. Note that IPv6 is sometimes referred to as IPng: IP Next Generation. Instead of dotted quads, IPv6 addresses are usually expressed as: x:x:x:x:x:x:x:x where each x is a 16 bit hexadecimal value. In environments where a network is transitioning from IP Version 4 to Version 6, you might want to use a form like: x:x:x:x:x:x:d.d.d.d where d.d.d.d represents an IP Version 4 dotted quad. 16
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